Vivian Reed: Standards and More

| August 10, 2017

Vivian Reed

Standards and More

(Kedion Productions)

July 30, 2017

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

As a document of Vivian Reed’s recent cabaret show (though recorded in studio), this CD captures the magic that is Ms. Reed. If there is one word that seems to characterize the singer, it is “confident.” Whether setting “Almost Like Being in Love” sailing, growling out “My Funny Valentine” (seemingly in tribute to Lena Horne—listen to her turn “unphotographable” into an at least a nine-syllable word), or threatening a rival with “You Can Have My Husband” (Dorothy LaBostric) in a scalding manner, she is completely in control. Broadway belting, jazz swinging, blues torching, and gospelizing—there doesn’t seem to be a style that she can’t conquer.

Not only is the song list varied, but there are some very clever combinations of songs: “My Funny Valentine” paired with “In a Sentimental Mood” (with a musical intro of “The Windmills of Your Mind”) and, opening the album, a trio of “Just One of Those Things,” “Almost Like Being in Love,” and “I’m Gonna Live Till I Die”—three songs that seem to have nothing in common, but together create a jubilant one-act play. And then there is the clever pairing of Peggy Lee/Bill Schluger standard “I Love Being Here with You” with Reed’s own composition, “I Been There,” which creates a personal statement of a performer’s ethos.

The one disappointment is the packaging. The back includes the song list and music credits in a very cramped typeface. Inside are a dedication, thank yous from Reed, and some reviewers’ quotes. Also, in a much larger font is a contact e-mail address that makes the CD appear more of a promotional tool than a joyful celebration of a fine artist.

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Category: Music, Music Reviews, New York City, New York City Music Reviews, Regional

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Jean Brassard: Dix (Ten)

He certainly can sing, but the emphasis is as much on the words.